Blog: Secrets from the Chef

How to draw an icon. Minimization process

Olesya KozlovaAuthor: Olesya Kozlova
25 June 2008

So get your magnifying glasses handy — we continue! After long and feisty arguments (do not worry — no blasters involved) we have 3 approved icons sized 64×64. Further starts the work that requires attention and patience but its end result will be seen by the Alien Invaders much more often (as it happens in the process of evolution they did not enlarge the screens but worked on improving their eyesight). Now we will grab your attention with the proper method of drawing small icons.

We are interested in two sizes 32×32 and 16×16.

For the first course we have a large plate of “Alien invader au jus” sized 32×32. We draw a “napkin” — a square area to host our bellicose friend. Let?s take a large size icon and in the Transform panel insert the required size (do not forget to link).

Now we see what we got and we realize that:

Many of the objects missed the pixels since their coordinates changed. Too many objects are crammed in a small area. Some shapes became too obscure.

Our next actions are easily predictable — we delete some objects. We decrease the number of spear ribs, smoothen the handle, and eliminate the multilayered soles.

Then we use the Transform panel to place the black square into the top left corner and start viewing the coordinates of the simple objects (circles and rectangles). The coordinates (X and Y) and the sizes (W and H) should be an even numbers.

Now we have to retouch the compound objects (hair and tentacles).


We left the 16×16 babies for dessert.

We take the original icon and chisel off all unnecessary things. We erase all but the main elements. Then we combine the main parts consisting of several shapes into one and clear off all the blurring.

Now we size it down to the required size watching for any odd things that may create extra noise. If it occurs, we eliminate it right there. The abovementioned Transform is used here just like before.

All done.

Related entries

Terms of Use

These materials can be used for any purposes with obligatory indication of the author.


Some one from copied your techniques and won the Ipod contest……… good he did not thank you..

Reply Bringiton, 19 August 2008

I didn’t quite catch what you’re talking about. Give us details.

Reply joukov, 19 August 2008

Leave a comment

You can log in with your twitter or facebook accounts. After authorisation on one of this sites, you'll be able to leave comments here.

Connect with Facebook

If you have an OpenID (for example, use it to authorise.

Log in with your Turbomilk account or register a new one.